Motorola Gets Closer To Orbit

Maybe Motorola really can pull this off. Battling widespread skepticism, the company on Aug. 2 announced it had lined up pledges for $800 million to finance its proposed worldwide satellite system. Sprint, the nation's third-largest telephone carrier, committed $40 million. Motorola also signed up BCE of Canada, a Japanese consortium of 18 companies such as Sony and Daini Denden, the Mawarid Group of Saudi Arabia, and China Great Wall Industry. The investors are expected to fork over an additional $800 million starting in 1995. Iridium, as the voice and data network is called, will cost $3.4 billion to build and launch by 1998.

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